Formative catharsis as The Big Moon soundtrack the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
London-based four-piece The Big Moon have made a momentous return with their third album Here Is Everything, containing the band's most viscerally raw lyricism to date. The conceptualisation of the album came when lead singer Juliette Jackson – with the assistance of writer Jessica Winter – was able to articulate the emotionally volatile experience of her pregnancy and early motherhood. The album certainly feels like an exercise in catharsis, overflowing with emotion as Jackson expresses that she discovered “a new kind of happiness” through her pregnancy. The band took a stripped-back approach to producing the album as they used drummer Fern Ford’s home-built studio, resulting in a rugged, DIY-sounding production evoking memories of the garage-sounding indie rock of the noughties.
Jackson’s optimism and fear serve to be the focal, lyrical inspiration on Here Is Everything, as the band have moved away from the cynicism found on their sophomore record, Walking Like We do. The album very fittingly commences with 2 Lines, an encapsulation of the fervour and uncertainty that comes with a positive pregnancy test. A Beach House-styled angelic, dreamy chorus provides the centrepiece of the track as Jackson profoundly ponders the magnitude of this moment, “Life is changed/But nothing feels the same”. The track reaches a climax with crashing, distorted guitars providing a bombastic start to the album.
Album highlight Wide Eyes has an unabashed, buoyancy to it as a pulsating bass line drives the track from beginning to end. The lyrics have an unadulterated, joyousness emanating from them, as motherhood has rediscovered a feeling of naivety for Jackson felt vicariously through her child, “Here is everything and it’s all new again/I got your wide eyes, your wide eyes”. The emotional tumultuousness of the experience is present in the palpable anxiousness of lines such as “I want to dance/I want to cry”.
As we journey through the album, This Love is another standout, a track that slowly progresses with orchestral grandeur. There is an authentic, sincerity to Jackson’s lyrics as she delivers them with velvety tonality, “I was brave, now I’m not/Doubting things that I knew for sure”. Trouble is blissful indie rock that is packed with rapturous guitar chords and a swaggering bassline that propels the song forward. Succinct and introspective lyricism provide the emotional weight as we are guided through the trepidation that Jackson feels, “Never thought love would be like fear/I’m scared for everyone I hold dear”. The track is layered with luscious vocal harmonies that have become synonymous with the band. The album does seem to stutter slightly in quality with High and Low, a grandiose sounding track that is encumbered by its lyricism, “I don’t have the right words to sing/But you know my love is in this song hiding”.
Here Is Everything is evidence of a band perfecting their craft. Musically the band are not breaking new ground with their sound, but this album feels to be an unequivocal success with solid, well-produced indie-pop rock on offer. The album is both thematically and sonically consistent, with these elements combining to produce an LP that is brimming with heartfelt sentiment and refreshing candour.
Album’s Artwork by Pooneh Ghana